Can you behave like a lizard?
Using a series of rhythmic triplets followed by two-syllable lines, Sayre invites young readers and listeners to imagine being a lizard. “Would you lunge like a lizard? / Sponge like a lizard? / Chew bugs like a lizard? / Mouth mash?” (A final page reminds readers to “Be you!”) Once the reader-aloud masters the form, this text would be a delight for storytime, encouraging imitation. Laberis used digital media to create reasonably accurate paintings of the one (occasionally two) lizard that performs the behaviors described, often with a bit of natural background. Each animal shown is clearly labeled with its common name. These 28 lizards are described more fully in short paragraphs keyed to the behavior depicted and headed with the common name, Latin name, usual home, and length in the backmatter. Various expert herpetologists are credited with scientific review of this appealing work by nature-lover Sayre. Some pages include other animals: The opening spread shows an American badger chasing a six-lined racerunner, and the last shows a greater short-horned lizard defending itself from a coyote. These lizards come from around the world; they vary amazingly in shape, size, and habitat. Suggested further resources include both books and websites.
An appealing invitation to look more closely at the world of lizards and a welcome addition to a nature shelf. (Informational picture book. 4-8)